Chattanooga Red Wolves Bus Wrap

We’ve had the opportunity to work with our local pro soccer team the Chattanooga Red Wolves on their branding and signage since their start here in Chattanooga, TN in 2018. As part of our work with the Red Wolves, we designed, crafted, and installed exterior and interior graphics for their downtown office and training center, signs and graphics for their stadium, and wayfinding signage. Thanks to this ongoing relationship we also were asked to wrap two of their team buses, the second of which is pictured below.

For each bus wrap, including the Chattanooga Red Wolves bus wraps, we have a process in place that allows us to do the best possible job for our client. Here we discuss the steps of that process.

Ortwein Sign’s Vehicle Wrap Process:

When considering a vehicle wrap job for a client such as the Chattanooga Red Wolves, there are a number of steps we must go through to ensure for ourselves, and our clients, that we can do the best job possible with their vehicle.

1. Vehicle Inspection

Before we start designing the wrap, a vehicle inspection is critical to assess the scope and price of the job. We must have eyes on the vehicle to check the # of flat panels, obstructions like door handles, and complex curves. Complex curves are their own challenge. Car wraps can do a lot, but a 3D complex curved surface is bound by the limitation of the complex curve itself. We can do them, but it takes time so we take that into account. We also measure the overall square footage of where the wrap will be applied.

2. Client Discussion

After the vehicle inspection, we discuss expectations with the client. Questions often include: What are you looking for in the wrap? Do you have your own design?

3. Design

Design makes or breaks the way a wrap works. After the vehicle inspection, our design team will work to ensure the client’s branding and vision can be brought to life with the vehicle wrap. With some corporate clients, our expert design team can independently adapt their brands and logos to work in wrap form and present them with final design for approval. Other clients prefer we work more in tandem with their design team.

For the Chattanooga Red Wolves, we worked in conjunction with the Red Wolves to finalize a design that met their needs and looked good as a wrap. We took into account their branding, the legibility of the text when parked and driving, and the uniqueness of the bus itself.

4. Big 3: Signed Art, Signed Quote, & Deposit 

For our next steps, we need what we call “The Big 3”: design sign-offs, quote sign-offs, 50% deposit on materials. Once we have all three of these we’ll move on to the production phase of your wrap.

5. We Apply the Wrap

We use a cast wrapping film that’s standard in the industry. This material has adhesive properties that with pressure and heat applies to a bus. Our team then sets everything as needed.

Once everything is in place we finalize the wrap by applying heat or pressure. Your wrap is now complete!

6. Proper Care and Maintenance

After the wrap is installed and you roll off the lot, your wrap has a typical lifespan of 5 years in regards to durability and integrity of the wrap.

Proper maintenance of a car wrap includes:

  • Routinely keeping it out of direct heat
  • Touchless car wash or hand washing
  • Can wax the surface, but it’s not required

Vehicle wraps are meant to be viewed 10 feet back so that you can view the wrap end to end.


Why choose a Vehicle Wrap over a Graphic Paint Job for a Commercial Wrap?

  • Vehicle wraps are significantly more affordable than paint jobs
  • So specialized that few people do this
  • High quality graphics would look better than a standard paint job, and if it did look as good you’d be paying 2x’s as much

Why choose a Graphic Paint Job over a Vehicle Wrap?

  • If someone wants a solid color get it painted
  • It’ll be cheaper to get a standard paint
  • Vehicle Wraps may have occasional imperfections simply by the nature of wrap material

Pros and Cons of Wrap and Vinyl with Commercial Vehicles

  • Wrap is a specialty film that is malleable and repositionable until heat or pressure has been applied. This is why a climate controlled environment is optimal for applying a wrap.
  • Vinyl on the other hand will be stuck once applied. Vinyl graphics would be stretched if you tried to move it.
  • Cast wrapping film is more pricey; however, it can be manipulated to work on any surface.